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Using drones to scout / hunt game

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by gamestalker, Feb 15, 2015.

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  1. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    I know in my state that you can't hunt an area within 72 hrs. of flying over it. But I wonder if that would apply to using drones?

    Technically you aren't flying over it, and the regulations make no reference to using RC flown air craft with video devices, at least not that I've ever read. I know guides that will fly over the units for weeks even months prior to, and up to the 3rd day prior to a hunt. This is especially true for our annual G&F auctioned hunts, in which the tag is open for the full year, giving the hunter all the time they need. Some if those tags will auction for 50K or more, then the guides will charge as much as 100K or more, but this is for a WR class elk or deer, yes deer, Arizona strip deer.

    I went to one of the annual G&F auctions back in the late 80's, this one guy paid like 50K for a strip deer tag, then he hired a team of guides, they charged him well over 100K, of which a big chunk went to months of helicopter chartering. So in a case like that, a drone would save someone a bunch of money.

    GS
     
  2. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    Using drones for hunting is illegal in Alaska and Montana. I am sure other states will follow their lead.
    Someone on here(?) already posted this but you can have your house listed as a "No Fly Zone" just like Obama's temporary house. It's free for the month of Feb.

    https://www.noflyzone.org/
     
  3. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Cheating is cheating. The drone deal, no matter how much weasel-wording is used, is still aerial scouting. "Don't be that guy," said the game warden.
     
  4. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    For the majority of folks the cost of a drone would make it unreasonable. For folks who can afford one, they can afford a petting zoo hunt. I don't see this being a huge issue, but I do suspect that other states will officially address it. I just hope they word it carefully.
     
  5. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    If you follow the 3 day, 24 hour, or what ever your state mandates waiting period prior to hunting then go for it.
    I suspect that drones and satellite imagery will play an ever increasing roll in hunting just as it will in other aspects of our lives.
    I'm sure today for the right price, real time satellite views are available, that together with quiet battery powered drones, the work of our F&G departments is in for some tough work.
     
  6. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Just like any other hi-tech technology, cost goes down considerably after a while. Look at computers and LED TVs. I remember when GPS's were only for the very rich and considered a luxury item for hunting. Now every Joe Blow has it on their basic cell phone. Used to be a closed circuit T.V. system for home security was thousands of dollars. Now you can get a system for under $100. Folks are already paying $200 a piece for a scent blocker coat and a pair of pants to hunt, they have a $300 range finder and a $900 bow. They've spent $2000 to plant food plots and have a $1000 brush hog to clear shooting lanes. A $400 drone would be nuttin' to keep an eye on the other side of the property when on stand and to see something coming from the neighbors. For a guide service that wants to put their clients on game quickly, a drone is cheaper than another grunt driving around with binos.

    The use of drones for hunting deer is already illegal in Wisconsin. But scouting is another thing, as is proving the drone is being actively used for hunting. Some Folks tend to stretch or bend the rules, and generally have some form of justification. If there's a way to cheat and give themselves an advantage....they will. Wisconsin used to have a law about the use of electronics when hunting deer. This law forbid folks from using walkie-talkies to alert other hunters in their party about deer movement and location. Back then it was easy for Wardens to monitor walkie-talkie frequencies for enforcement. Then came cell phones and the privacy that came with them. That law has gone out the window. Seeing as how one can monitor multiple trail cameras from their cell phones, what real advantage would a drone have on smaller pieces of property?
     
  7. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    Not really. You can get a drone with a camera for $1200 or less. I know, I have one and could've done it for under $1000. In an age where people buy their kids $500 cell phones, $400 gaming consoles and hundreds more in games, it's not really a big deal.

    I also don't see the connection between using technology to aid in scouting WILD DEER and shooting high fence pets. :scrutiny:

    I don't see any moral or ethical issues in using them for scouting. I also see no problem with the restrictions about how soon you can hunt after flying. They 'might' also prove very useful in detecting poaching and trespassing. ;)
     
  8. Schwing

    Schwing Member

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    The whole "Drone" thing makes my blood boil. As someone who has been involved with RC flying for decades, the stories and terminology bandied about by the media are just as bad as what we suffer as "Gun nuts".

    I never equated FPV (first person video) flying to "Drones" until the media had a slow news week and started running stories about it. While I don't do this I have many friends and relatives who do. It is nothing more than flying an RC plane through a video feed from the plane. This gives you the sensation of flying the plane as if you were in the cockpit.

    It is immensely fun, can be very challenging and is completely harmless... Of course, just like firearms, there are a very small minority using them for nefarious purposes (spying on neighbors, poaching etc). I know dozens of people who do this and, just like my shooting friends, I have yet to meet one involved with any of these practices.

    It is another hobby that is going to be regulated, demeaned and labeled as something it is not.
     
  9. 4thPointOfContact

    4thPointOfContact Member

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    Gawd, YES. I was flying RC aircraft way back in the 80's. I never knew I was some high-falutin' "drone operator".

    "Drone" is to "radio control toy airplane/helicopter" as "Assault Rifles" are to "AR-15" Terminology is important people, stop being taken in.
     
  10. Andrew Leigh

    Andrew Leigh Member

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    Would the use of Drones not be the next progressive step up from Trail Camera's. They are both remote devices that records the activity and locations of game, the one is simply more efficient than the other.

    I am not in favour of either.

    They used to do that in Africa, fly in a rich client by helicopter to within a couple of 100 yards of the Elephant, shoot it, hunter triumphantly places his foot on the dead animal for the mandatory photo shoot and back into the chopper and back to the Hotel. Some times the hunt and photo shoot would last no more than 10 - 15 minutes. Please tell me we are not headed back there.
     
  11. utvolsfan77

    utvolsfan77 Member

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    Use of drones for hunting have been illegal in Tennessee for several years.
     
  12. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

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    If we combine drones with Tracking Point and the right software, we won't even have to get out of bed to kill game. Just send a robot to do it. Progress.

    What's the appeal of "hunting" if minimal to no human involvement or interaction with nature is involved? God forbid anyone take the time to develop a little woodsmanship.
     
  13. TimSr

    TimSr Member

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    One operates 24/7 without the aid of a human and typically you have to go to it to find out where game WAS when it took the picture. I do have issues with the IP cams that send pictures to your phone in real time while hunting.

    I too hate the word "drone" as it makes people envision a military weapon armed with missiles. I do not know of anyone advocating arming remote control aircraft to "hunt" with.

    I think they would be useless for "scouting", other than viewing large animals that happen to be in the area that can be seen from overhead at the time. They are not much good for locating tracks and trails. They would be good for visually scouting terrain, which I already do with google satellite maps.

    I don't think they should be used within the hunting season, or immediately before, as they could be used to move, route, or herd large game.

    I think they could be a great tool for landowners that do not law people lawfully hunting on their land.

    I think they could be valuable for wildlife biologists. I think they are too invasive for law enforcement to be used without probable cause. I hunt for privacy and solitude, and don't want big brother hovering over me unless there is just cause that I might be committing a crime.
     
  14. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    The use of "drones" for hunting game animals NO, NEVER!!!

    The use of drones for eliminating invasive and damaging species such as hogs? Plausible. As was mentioned above you can get into a very capable drone with first person view/recording capability "drone" quad r for about $1,000. A fixed wing with camera and FPV is even cheaper. So the cost factor is very doable and getting cheaper all the time. I'm sure that poaching via drone assistance has been done and we will hear about more and more of it as time goes on. Don't be that dirt bag/criminal.
     
  15. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    What is a drone but an R/C aircraft with a FPV camera??? That's one distinction. Radio control aircraft are exactly that, aircraft controlled strictly by a hand held radio transmitter. A "drone" can operated the same way but typically will have one or even two cameras affixed and can also have a GPS and fly pre-determined flightpaths at pre-determined altitude, taking a pre-determined amount of video footage, at pre-determined times with no other input required from the user. I don't know if "drone" is the best term to use but there is a significant difference between normal RC aircraft and what we refer to as "drones".

    Let us not forget that they were spotting elephants and other large game in Africa nearly a hundred years ago.

    There's some guys with videos on YouTube who use RC aircraft with FLIR cameras attached to spot wild hogs at night. Definitely useful for that.

    As for spotting deer, let's be realistic. It is only good for scouting deer movements. You're not going to find trails, rubs or scrapes. You're sure as hell not gonna spot one and then walk up to it and shoot it.


    Some folks learned their woodsmanship in their youth but can no longer wander the hills all day on foot. Might be useful for those with less mobility. Personally, I can't get around as well as I used to because of problems with my feet. Don't be so quick to judge.
     
  16. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

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    When I was in college, I used to go hunting and shooting with an older gentleman who was suffering from mobility issues. He would take up a stand and I would pound the brush in order to push game toward him. He bagged a few deer this way.

    The point being, there are ways for people of varying physical ability to hunt without resorting to yet more loud, obnoxious, surveillance technology.

    And I guarantee that it won't be long before someone takes the tech to its logical conclusion and designs an armed drone with which to terminate game while the operator comfortably sips coffee at his desk.
     
  17. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    And I suppose every old man in 2015 has an eager young guy willing to drive game to him? Spotting them from the sky days if not weeks prior is less sporting than a driven hunt? It's might be more efficient but how is this less sporting than stationary game cameras?


    Like four wheelers or 4x4 trucks? If it's your property, what does it matter?


    The world might end tomorrow, what does that matter?
     
  18. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    What? Please explain what you are talking about here. Are you saying that they were using RC aircraft with FPV cameras 100 years ago?:confused:
     
  19. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    I can see spotting/locating feral hogs with a drone as an ethical 'aid' to controlling them.

    The 'kid' in me would be tempted to 'buzz' coyotes crossing our pasture or 'bust up' a murder of crows...roosting in a tree, so maybe I shouldn't have one. :D
     
  20. Andrew Leigh

    Andrew Leigh Member

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    Technology should be embraced and a remote aircraft with GPS & Video and Photo ability would be great in the game management field for conducting the annual census, tracking known large tusker's in Africa, looking for poachers, checking boundary fences, managing waterholes etc.

    In the context of rifle hunting, for me is about a "fair chase" where the hunter requires bush craft, tracking skills and the ability to shoot against a quarry that is able to move freely and flee. The entire process of the hunt culminates in a successful shot taking 0.3s to reach the target, it is the events leading up to this that are really the hunt. Don't hit me with the "then get into a loin cloth and grab a spear" argument as since the advent of the rifle, we all understand rifle hunting in context.

    So personally "drones" will not constitute any part of my hunting gear. Hunting for me has certain no's, don't knock them as they are my personal hunting ethic which I am not forcing on you but simply informing you of where I stand on the matter. If your hunting ethic is different then all good and well. The following are not for me;

    - I do not hunt with a moderator, it suppresses the source of the sound and will often allow the hunter another shot at another animal as they battle to pick up the source of the danger. Many local hunting farms are starting to insist on moderators as the have less of a spooking effect on the game and hunters have more success in the latter periods of the season. I will use a moderator if culling.
    - I do not shoot from a blind.
    - I do not shoot from a vehicle, unless formally culling.
    - I do not shoot if the animal is at water, a feed spot or a lick.
    - I do not shoot at night under spotlight, unless formally culling.
    - I do not shoot cow's or ewe's in breeding season.

    Imagine being a game ranch owner. You send your drone up and continue to scout. Find a nice Kudu bull then send your tracker and client in a truck, locate the bull and shoot it. How much hunting enjoyment could one possibly get from that experience? What do you talk about at the fire at night? "Well we were drinking coffee waiting for the drone to locate a good bull ........."
     
  21. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Never used RC planes to scout for game, but have had cameras on them before.

    The most "cheating" I have done was to use homemade radios to alert when hogs were at our bait areas.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I never crashed one, work just as good at night as they do during the day, cost almost nothing to run, can be doing something constructive (or not) while they are keeping tabs for you, will even wake you up when they are there. All things that a drone won't do.

    I had a remote killing device almost complete for the varmints before my State outlawed such practice, so we just did it "Indian style" for a while as it was better than nothing (or just waiting on them). When they got too bad we just let the fellows with dogs run them down and get rid of them.
     
  22. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Having flew R/C aircraft for 20 years, and hunted for 60?

    I never was man enough to pack all the gear necessary for either endeavor into the field both at the same time!

    I suppose if you had guides using drones, and gun-bearers to carry your guns?
    It could be done.

    But it wouldn't be 'Fair Chase' hunting by any definition of ethical Sport Hunting.

    rc
     
  23. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    For pre-season scouting I have no problem. It reality it isn't much different than using google earth to get an idea of the terrain. Not much different than the guy who puts up multiple game cameras either. Much more ethical than using bait and that is legal in many places.

    I wouldn't want to see them legal if used on the same day you hunted.
     
  24. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    You don't need a drone to be a cheater .. but I imagine it would help.
    I had a friend who struck out hunting lions in Idaho in the '70s. The outfitter later treed a cat, had a guy sit at the base of the tree with a couple of dogs and wait until this ex-friend flew to Idaho, drove near the site and shot the lion.

    Whoo-hoo! Bigshot hunter killed a lion. Wow! ..... GAG!! :barf:
     
  25. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

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    That`s a good question. You can bet some State DNR`s are looking into it.

    Including new regs that speak to the issue.

    If they don`t regulate the done issue , some will have them flying all over the place.
     
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